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Fig 5.22 – Hegelian Philosophy

Text: Page 194

As science progresses, Hegel believed that national spirit evolved into a World Spirit, symbolized by the Owl of Minerva. This symbol became associated with Hegelian philosophy and is a symbol utilized by Hegelian groups and publications throughout the world.

The Owl of Minerva, is often associated with Athena the Greek goddess of wisdom, symbolizes the need for wisdom in science. The symbol provides science with inspiration and caution because historical stages often can only be “understood at dusk when the day is over,” when empires and cultures die. Hegel would optimistically note that Plato and Aristotle developed their greatest philosophical contributions while Greek society was decaying and dying. However, it was only “after the owl spread his wings at dusk” and Greece collapsed that history could begin to truly assess the full impact of Greek thought.

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